The new science of happiness has found that extremely happy people make the conscious choice every day to do something to bring happiness into their lives.
Making choices is based on your ability to see possibilities. Possibilities always exist, even when you feel like you are backed into a corner.
The false perception that you do not have any choice leads to a sensation of helplessness that is deadly to your mind and spirit, leading to depression, anxiety, anger, obsessiveness, hopelessness and a feeling of being a victim.
You lose sight of possibilities when you become blinded by fear. Fear narrows your choices to fighting, fleeing, or freezing. You become reactive and your problem-solving ability shrivels. Then your problems become prisons.
But possibilities are always present and are indispensable. They are as necessary for your mind as oxygen is for your body. Recognizing possibilities wipes out your deadly emotions by giving you the chance to choose.
This process of creating possibilities keeps fear from clouding your mind and points you toward solutions. You can lead yourself from darkness into light by asking yourself questions that help you to discover the resources that are available.
To be happy, I discovered, you have to connect to your inner core qualities. You have to have the self-awareness of who you are and what you value in life.
With that awareness you can pour your heart into making choices that fit you best. As I’ve learned to make my own choices, I came to realize something that now seems so obvious: Making choices feels good. There’s nothing quite as nice as the feeling of calling the shots to create your own life.
It’s vastly superior to the struggle of trying to make other people like you by doing what they choose, or by doing what they expect. So I wasn’t surprised to read in the happiness research that making choices feels better than most anything a person can do.
You can determine your destiny every day by what you choose to do - and what you decide not to do. Start paying more attention to the possibilities.
Excerpt from HOW TO CHOOSE HAPPINESS by Dr Tom Muha